Prince: Rebels Put Bounties on Heads of Cambodia Leaders

Published November 29th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Armed rebels who staged an attack on the Cambodian capital last week have put bounties on the heads of Prime Minister Hun Sen and other leaders, Prince Norodom Ranariddh said Wednesday. 

Ranariddh, the president of the national assembly, said documents seized in searches since the raid found the group had also targeted the Royal Palace, the residence of Cambodia's revered 78-year-old King Norodom Sihanouk. 

"We have seen that their target is not only Prime Minister Hun Sen's residence but the Royal Palace and my house also. They are very well funded," he told reporters. 

According to the blacklist, "I am worth one million dollars to them and Prime Minister Hun Sen is worth seven million dollars," he said. 

Other ministers and high-ranking military officers also had million-dollar price tags against their names. 

Eight people were killed and at least 14 wounded when bands of rebels stormed government offices and a military base in the early hours of last Friday, battling security forces for more than an hour before fleeing. 

The violence was the worst in Phnom Penh since the bloody 1997 struggle for control of the government in which Prince Norodom Ranariddh was ousted by Hun Sen. 

Cambodian authorities have blamed the attack on an anti-communist and anti-royalist rebel group known as the Cambodian Freedom Fighters. 

Hun Sen has put a 500-dollar bounty -- nearly twice the average yearly wage here -- on the heads of any rebel leaders turned in. 

In the wake of the raid, a Cambodian court Wednesday charged four American citizens with creating an illegal armed force and terrorism. 

Prosecutors said only one of the men, Cambodian-American Richard Kiri Kim, 51, was in custody. The others were charged in absentia -- PHNOM PENH (AFP)  

 

 

 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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